When it comes to non-dairy milk, almond milk has held the title of the most popular option for quite some time. However, there’s a new contender on the market that’s growing very quickly—flax milk.
While flax milk may not be as well-known, it’s packed with nutrients, is extremely sustainable, and doesn’t sacrifice taste.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative to almond milk or simply want to try something different, we’ve got you covered.
In this guide, we’ll compare almond milk vs flax milk in terms of nutrition, benefits, taste, and more.
Nutrition facts can vary greatly depending on the type and brand of milk you buy.
For our comparison, we’re going to use the USDA database’s nutritional facts for almond milk, and Malibu Mylk’s nutritional facts for flax milk (because they make the cleanest flax milk on the market).
When it comes to calories, almond milk and flax milk are pretty similar.
According to the USDA, one cup of unsweetened almond milk contains roughly 40 calories, while one cup of unsweetened flax milk has around 45 calories.
However, sweetened versions of these milks can have significantly more calories, so be sure to check the label before purchasing.
Almond milk and flax milk are both relatively low in protein. One serving of unsweetened almond milk contains only 1 gram of protein, while one cup of unsweetened flax milk contains 2 grams of protein.
So neither of these will give you a ton of protein, but flax milk has a slight upper hand. However, if you choose an almond milk brand like Elmhurst or Three Trees, you can get 4-5 grams of protein per serving.
Both almond milk and flax milk are low in fat, making them a great option if you’re on a low-fat diet.
One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains around 3 grams of fat, while one cup of unsweetened flax milk contains around 3 grams as well.
It’s worth noting that the fat in these milks is unsaturated, which is considered a healthier type of fat.
If you’re following a low-carb diet like Keto, you’ll be happy to know that almond milk and flax milk are both low in carbohydrates. They both contain just 4 grams of carbs.
Where flax milk has an advantage the fact that most of its carbs come from fiber.
Flax milk contains 4 grams of fiber, compared to 1 gram in almond milk.
Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and nutrients in almond and flax milk vary based on whether or you’re buying fortified or non-fortified milk.
The USDA’s nutrition facts for almond milk are based on a fortified brand and contains:
- 184mg of calcium
- 67mg of potassium
- 41IU vitamin D
- 6.33mg vitamin E
Since Malibu Mylk isn’t fortified, it’s difficult to do an apples to apples comparison. However, looking at the nutrition facts for another popular flax milk brand, Good Karma, it’s more of an even matchup:
- 280mg of calcium
- 92IU of vitamin D
- 1.4mcg of B12
- 130mg of phosphorus
When it comes to choosing non-dairy milk based on nutrients, you have to look at the nutritional value of each brand, not necessarily just the type of milk.
Overall, almond milk and flax milk are very comparable in terms of nutritional value. They have similar calories and the same amount of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates.) However, flax milk contains significantly more fiber.
Health Benefits and Concerns
Both almond milk and flax milk are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which makes them great options for maintaining heart health.
Almond milk contains more monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels, while flax milk contains more omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
It’s estimated that around 68% of the population has issues digesting dairy, which is a common reason why people switch to plant-based milk.
However, some plant-based milk is even better for your digestive system than others. In this case, flax milk’s soluble and insoluble fiber may help regulate your bowel movements.
Almond milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for maintaining strong bones.
Flax milk, on the other hand, is not typically fortified with these nutrients. However, it does contain lignans, which are compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Allergies and Sensitivities
Almond milk is a common allergen, so you should avoid it if you have a tree-nut allergy.
Flax milk is a good alternative for people with nut allergies or sensitivities, as it is nut-free.
However, some people may be allergic to flax seeds, so it's important to be aware of any potential allergic reactions.
Taste and Texture
When it comes to taste and texture, almond milk and flax milk have some differences.
Almond milk has a slightly nutty flavor, while Flax milk has a more neutral taste. Almond milk is also creamier and thicker, while Flax milk is thinner and has a more watery consistency.
If you prefer a richer and creamier texture, Almond milk might be the better choice for you. It can be a great addition to coffee or tea, as well as smoothies and cereal.
On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter and more refreshing taste, Flax milk might be a better option. It can be a great choice for adding to your morning oatmeal or baked dishes.
We’ll give our disclaimer again though—the taste and texture of your milk will vary depending on the brand and flavor. Some brands use more almonds or flax seeds, or add sweeteners, flavors, and other ingredients that can alter the taste and texture of the milk.
Plus, taste is subjective.
So we recommend trying a few different options to find one that suits your taste preferences best.
Availability and Cost
One of the biggest downsides of flax milk is it’s not as easy to find as almond milk. Walk into nearly any grocery store and you’re bound to find at least one almond milk brand. We can’t say the same for flax milk.
Luckily, there are brands like Malibu Mylk and Lechia that you can buy online.
In terms of cost, they’re pretty evenly matched.
More generic flax milk (ones that contain additives and are non-organic) tends to cost around the same amount as store-brand or basic almond milk (brands like Almond Breeze), if not less.
When you look at higher-quality flax and almond milk (organic and with no additives), the trend is pretty consistent.
Here is a quick comparison of the average cost of almond milk and flax milk:
Average Cost (per 32oz)
$3 - $7
$2 - $7
Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on where you live and where you purchase your milk.
Overall, both almond milk and flax milk can be great dairy-free alternatives. When deciding which one to choose, consider factors such as availability, cost, and personal preference.
When it comes to environmental impact, both almond milk and flax milk have their pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:
Almond milk requires a lot of water to produce, with estimates ranging from 23 to 74 gallons per glass of almond milk. Flax milk, on the other hand, requires much less water, with estimates ranging from 5 to 25 gallons per glass. This means that flax milk has a lower water footprint than almond milk.
Almond milk requires a lot of land to grow the almonds, which can lead to deforestation and habitat loss.
Flax milk, on the other hand, requires much less land to grow the flaxseeds. This means that flax milk has a lower land footprint than almond milk.
Almonds are often heavily sprayed with pesticides, which can have negative impacts on the environment and human health.
Flaxseeds, on the other hand, are often grown without the use of pesticides. This means that flax milk has a lower pesticide footprint than almond milk.
Both almond milk and flax milk are often transported long distances, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
However, if you choose locally produced almond milk or flax milk, you can reduce the transportation footprint.
Overall, when it comes to environmental impact, flax milk tends to be the better choice.
It has a lower water footprint, land footprint, and pesticide footprint than almond milk.
However, it's important to remember that there are many factors to consider when making a sustainable choice, and every individual's situation is different.
Flax Milk or Almond Milk?
Flax milk and almond milk are both great options. Here’s our general consensus:
- If you want an environmentally friendly option, go with flax milk
- If you want a creamier consistency, go with almond milk
- If you have food intolerances (particularly tree nuts), go with flax milk
- If you want something that’s readily available, go with almond milk
It may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but when it comes to almond milk vs. flax milk, the best option will vary from person to person.